Rates for private rented homes in need of reform
Commenting on finance minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir’s proposed changes to rates – property taxes based on the value of homes – announced today, Nicola McCrudden, Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) director for Northern Ireland, said: “We support today’s proposal that rates would apply to university halls of residence.
“Students living at university should be treated the same as students renting privately, since everyone benefits from local services.
“However, we are disappointed that today’s proposals to shake up the rating system largely overlook private rented housing, where there is still confusion over who pays rates.
“For rented homes valued at £150,000 or less, tenants pay rates as part of their rent and landlords forward it on to the Department of Finance. However tenants can be subjected to legal action for non-payment if the landlord gets into financial difficulty and doesn’t pay the rates over to the department.
“For homes valued over £150,000, tenants are liable unless the landlord agrees otherwise, but tenants are unlikely to know the capital value of their rented home.
“We believe these arrangements are confusing, unnecessary, and still in need of reform.”
The proposals also include a higher rates bill for properties valued above £400,000, and a reduction to the allowance that private and social landlords receive for collecting rates from ten per cent to five per cent.
For more information please contact Justin Cartwright, CIH Northern Ireland policy and public affairs manager on 028 9077 8222, 07824 304 351 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world.